How To Create A Font In Illustrator

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Graphic designers can be obsessed with fonts. After all, this is our job! We work with fonts on a daily basis, we can discover them in the wild (“Use Trader Joe’s Phosphorus on a bag of chips!?”) and we have accumulated mental lists of popular and favorite fonts. If this applies to you, then you’ve probably also considered making your own font. Creating a font is a long and tedious process, but typing in a font you’ve created can be incredibly rewarding! If the idea excites you, read on!

How To Create A Font In Illustrator

How To Create A Font In Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator cannot export a font file by itself, but its vector programming allows you to export .svg files that most font creation programs support. Basically, it just means that you can use Illustrator to create font characters if you don’t want to learn brand new font-only software, especially if you’re already familiar with how Illustrator works. (Confused? Don’t worry! We’ll learn more about vectors and font programs later in this tutorial.)

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One last reminder before we begin! It is important to note that you are not only learning how to make a “type”, you are also creating a type. What is the difference? A font is a whole group of text styles that you can use, often referred to as a “font family”. Arial, Helvetica and Times New Roman are fonts because you can use multiple styles (regular, italic, bold, bold italic…). A font is just one of these text styles. Arial Bold is technically a font, but Arial is a font. Of course, for this tutorial, you will most likely create a font that contains only one font. (Unless you get creative and create some weights or italics!) How to Create a Color Font with Illustrator and (Part 2) Learn from Monica Gause How to Create Your Own Font (Part 2) November 8, 2017

How To Create A Font In Illustrator

Monica Gause is a graphic designer, writer, educator, Illustrator specialist, and Adobe Community specialist. She created a color font family for one of her professional projects and shares her experience with Maker, an extension that adds font-creation functionality to Adobe Illustrator. This article is a continuation of (Part 1 is about creating colored letters in Illustrator). This Part 2 focuses on converting colored vector shapes to OpenType SVG fonts using .

The first thing to do at this stage is to get rid of any invisible remnants of Pathfinder operations. To do this, you create a new object, fill and stroke it with None, then go to Select > Same > Fill & Stroke. Delete objects.

How To Create A Font In Illustrator

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You can also use “Object” > “Path” > “Clear” and then the “Uncolored Objects” option for this, but after selecting it, you will still be able to see if there are selected objects that you would rather keep, such as helper objects .

Now we need to make sure that the objects belonging to each letter are grouped. If they are all the same color, you can also create a compound path. You can select each letter using the selection rectangle to drag with the selection tool. Then check to see if it’s already a group (it will be called Group in the top left corner of the control panel or at the top of the properties panel). If it’s not a group, group it.

How To Create A Font In Illustrator

If all your letters have overlapping objects, e.g. when you create icons, all of which have a basic shape, you can use the GroupOverlappingObjects script. Download it from Then you can select all your objects and run the script on them. This will create a group for each of the icons. I was able to select all of these icons at once and group them by running the script.

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Now we are creating the actual font. Open the panel in Window > Extensions > Maker if you don’t already have it. If you have already made some tests in it, create a new font by clicking “Create”. When prompted, choose whether you want a completely new font or just a new style.

How To Create A Font In Illustrator

With all letter shapes aligned to the baseline (which also works when you have multiple baseline guides in your file), you can do some automation in your .

To enter a base from A to Z, a to z, or 0 to 9, select these shapes (they must be aligned to the baseline and in the correct order) and drag them to the panel. then four buttons will be displayed and you have to place your shapes on the corresponding button.

How To Create A Font In Illustrator

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That’s all. If all of your letters are correctly grouped in the correct order, you will find them in their respective slots on the panel. Proper alignment occurs automatically as all letters are within the grid and therefore follow the baseline.

If you have a series of random characters, you can use the Any Character (Batch) button. Drag shapes onto this character to import them with only the correct geometry aligned with the baseline. You can then go back to them one by one in the panel to assign letters to them.

How To Create A Font In Illustrator

Power Tip: To speed up the process for accented and punctuated characters, you can also rename each Illustrator object with the character you want and then batch import them. They do not need to be renamed, each object name will be automatically mapped to each character key.

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I wanted alternatives in my font to showcase this Illustrator feature. It’s pretty easy to create, you might even accidentally stumble across it when trying to compose an email that’s already there. You select a shape on the artboard, then type a letter in the panel and click “Create Glyph”.

How To Create A Font In Illustrator

Then asks you if you want to replace the existing glyph or create (or cancel) an alternate one. That’s all. Click “Toggle” and you’re done. I’ve created alternatives for some of the most commonly used letters so that one color doesn’t become too dominant in the text.

Substitutes are labeled “Alt 1”, “Alt 2”, etc. in the panel. The alternatives will appear in Illustrator as a pop-up panel when you select a letter in the text to which they are assigned in the font.

How To Create A Font In Illustrator

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The punctuation in my font case was a bit tricky because the glyphs didn’t automatically line up on the baseline. Some of them fall below the baseline. Some punctuation marks, such as apostrophes, are placed several grid lines above the baseline.

I aligned the punctuation marks with other letters and a guide called “baseline”. recognize this directory. Then select all the shapes as well as the folder and drag them onto the Any Symbol (Batch) button. I then revised each of the created slots to assign a letter. Just select a placeholder and enter the desired letter.

How To Create A Font In Illustrator

The basic alphabet is good, but it’s not enough for the German language, since our language has all these crazy characters, and it always disappoints me if they are not in the font that I like and want to use. So I wanted them. They are easy to build with , but this year ß received a capitalized version that was approved by the German Orthography Decision Board.

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It doesn’t really matter as upper and lower case look the same in my font but Illustrator crashes when typing so I wanted that too. When you enter a letter that is not in the font, Illustrator switches to the default font and stays there.

How To Create A Font In Illustrator

It also works great to paste letters like this because you can copy them from somewhere and just paste them into the letter field and then add your design.

I created several other characters with an accent. For the German ä, ö and ü I tried to stay within the original grid, but for most of the other accents it didn’t work, so I added a rule to the grid to use for the accent. As you can see, I tried points with concave and convex arcs — I decided to use convex arcs.

How To Create A Font In Illustrator

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Accents borrow their forms from punctuation. It worked like using building blocks. I took what I already had, rotated if necessary, and spelled it out. The font uses a limited set of shapes that fit into a square grid, so it works great. Symmetrical accents, like the circumflex accent, wouldn’t fit well into a three-by-three grid, but instead of just centering them on the letter, I decided to align them asymmetrically.

To make a font really useful, you need some symbols like an ampersand, math signs, a star (to indicate small print) and of course a hashtag, €, $, £, and ¥. I made a lot of them with my friends in mind like

How To Create A Font In Illustrator

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